FILMSDECEMBER 2014

(Groen­ing / Diet­ter 1999) Futu­rama: Ep.8 ― A Big Piece of Garbage
(Groen­ing / Diet­ter 1999) Futu­rama: Ep.8 ― A Big Piece of Garbage
(Hitch­cock 1953) I Con­fess
(Turner 1969) Civil­i­sa­tion: Ep.4 ― Man, the Mea­sure of All Things
(Groen­ing / Moore 1999) Futu­rama: Ep.9 ― Hell Is Other Robots
(Wynorski 2010) Dinocroc vs. Super­ga­tor
(Groen­ing / Avanzino 1999) Futu­rama: Ep.10 ― A Flight To Remem­ber
(Groen­ing / Haa­land 1999) Futu­rama: Ep.11 ― Mars Uni­ver­sity
(Levin 1967) The Ambush­ers Read more »

First-time listening for December 2014

26688. (Dan Ar Braz) Zénith [Live]
Best of Afro-Brazilian Jazz:
.… 26689. (Anto­nio Car­los Jobim) “Brazil Nativo”
.… 26690. (Ser­gio Mendes & Brasil ’66) “Lap­inha”
.… 26691. (Mil­ton Nasci­mento) “Cravo e Canela”
.… 26692. (Hank Mob­ley) “Recado Bossa Nova”
.… 26693. (Michel Camilo) “St. Thomas”
.… 26694. (Luiz Bonfa) “Malaguena Salerosa” Read more »

READINGDECEMBER 2014

255871. (Tim Flan­nery) The Final Fron­tier — An Eco­log­i­cal His­tory of North Amer­ica and Its
. . . . . . Peo­ples
255872. (Vic­tor L. Whitechurch) The Affair of the Ger­man Dispatch-Box [story]
255873. (Colin New­bury) Tahiti Nui — Change and Sur­vival in French Poly­ne­sia 1767–1945
255874. (Ali­son Leonard) Vikings in the Pre­his­toric Land­scape: Stud­ies on Main­land Orkney
. . . . . . [arti­cle]
255875. (M. P. Shiel) The Stone of the Edmuns­bury Monks [story]
255876. (Ramita Navai) City of Lies — Love, Sex, Death and the Search for Truth in Tehran Read more »

FILMSNOVEMBER 2014

(Fellini 1950) Vari­ety Lights [Luci del vari­età]
(Beebe & Hill 1938) Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars: Ep.3 ― Queen of Magic
(Taka­hashi 2010) The Great Sum­mits: Ep.5 ― Mat­ter­horn, Majes­tic Peak that Pierces the Sky
(Ichino 2010) The Great Sum­mits: Ep.6 ― Auyan­tepui, Lost World in the Sky
(Beebe & Hill 1938) Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars: Ep.4 ― Ancient Ene­mies
(Beebe & Hill 1938) Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars: Ep.5 ― The Boomerang
(Sher­wood 1957) The Mono­lith Mon­sters
(Brouw­ers 2000) Tahiti et les archipels de Polynésie française Read more »

First-time listening for November 2014

25666. (Spoon) They Want My Soul
25667. (Plat­ters) Four Plat­ters and One Lovely, Vol.3
25668. (Alan Stiv­ell) Un Dewezh’ Barzh’ Ger — Journée a la Mai­son
25669. (John Ren­bourn) The Nine Maid­ens
25670. (Plat­ters) Four Plat­ters and One Lovely, Vol.4
26671. (Young the Giant) Mind Over Mat­ter
26672. (Josquin des Prez) Motet: Ave Maria Read more »

READINGNOVEMBER 2014

255766. (Tiant­ian Zheng) Recast­ing Gen­der and Pro­phy­lac­tic Use in China: A His­tor­i­cal and
. . . . . Anthro­polig­i­cal Per­spec­tive [arti­cle]
255767. (Joël Plouffe & Harry Bor­lase) L’Arctique de Stephen Harper
(Jann Pasler ̶ ed.) Camille Saint-Saëns and His World:
. . . . 255768. (Jann Pasler) Decon­struct­ing Saint-Saëns [pref­ace]
. . . . 255769. (Mitchell Mor­ris) Camille Saint-Saëns in [Semi-]Private [arti­cle]
. . . . 255770. (Paul Viar­dot) Saint-Saëns, The Play­ful [arti­cle] Read more »

FILMSOCTOBER 2014

(Guest 1959) Yesterday’s Enemy
(Caton-Jones 1993) This Boy’s Life
(Zucker 2001) Rat Race
(Assoni­tis 1977) Ten­ta­cles [Ten­ta­c­uli]
(Reynolds 1994) Rapa Nui
(Dou­glas 1954) Them!
(Cutts 1932) The Sign of Four: Sher­lock Holmes’ Great­est Case
(Daniels 2012) The Paper­boy Read more »

First-time listening for October 2014

25651. (White Denim) Last Days of Sum­mer
25652. (Funkadelic) Mag­got Brain
25653. (Eddie LeJe­une) Cajun Soul
25654. (Louis Jor­dan) Jivin’ with Jor­dan [4-disc set]
25655. (Beau­Soleil) From Bamako to Caren­cro
25656. (John Ren­bourn Group) The Enchanted Gar­den Read more »

READINGOCTOBER 2014

25669. (Henry Reynolds) A His­tory of Tas­ma­nia
25670. (Mau­rice M. Durand & Nguyẽ̂n Trà̂n Huân) An Intro­duc­tion to Viet­namese Lit­er­a­ture
25671. (Soth Polin) Com­mu­ni­cate, They Say [story]
25672. (Soth Polin) The Dia­bolic Sweet­ness of Pol Pot [arti­cle]
25673. (Sharon May) In the Shadow of Angkor: A Search for Cam­bo­dian Lit­er­a­ture [arti­cle]
25674. (Kurt E. Don­goske) Ethics of Field Research for the Hopi Tribe [arti­cle]
25675. (Jake Hess) Washington’s Secret Back-Channel Talks with Syria’s Kur­dish “Ter­ror­ists”
. . . . . [arti­cle] Read more »

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — An Egyptian’s Wise Words for Hong Kong’s Protesters

Mah­moud Salem, one of the Egypt­ian vet­er­ans of the 18 days in Tahrir Square, has some use­ful advise for pro-democracy pro­test­ers in Hong Kong, and it is very good advice. “Learn from our fail­ure,” he says, and lists eight points that match my own impres­sions and (some) pub­lished points. I list them here, with a few quotes. Go to the arti­cle to read the full text.

1. Do not count on the inter­na­tional community’s sup­port. “The inter­na­tional com­mu­nity espouses many plat­i­tudes it never actu­ally enforces or backs for all sorts of real­ist con­sid­er­a­tions — and being on China’s bad side is some­thing no Amer­i­can leader can countenance.”

2. The world’s atten­tion span is very lim­ited. “You have the world’s atten­tion now. Soon very few peo­ple will care. Now is the time to com­mu­ni­cate your message.”

3. Do not allow the gov­ern­ment to manip­u­late you.If you can’t define who you are, the gov­ern­ment will define it for you. They will try and turn the most obnox­ious and rad­i­cal of pro­tes­tors into the face of your move­ment. This becomes espe­cially true if your protest drags on, incon­ve­nienc­ing the same peo­ple whose sup­port you des­per­ately need. You then lose con­trol of the mes­sage — and it’s sur­pris­ingly easy for the gov­ern­ment to shift focus to a side issue the gov­ern­ment cre­ated or is happy to exploit.” “Another favorite gov­ern­ment tac­tic is pub­licly call­ing for dia­logue, while simul­ta­ne­ously arrang­ing for mobs to phys­i­cally attack pro­tes­tors — thus forc­ing demon­stra­tors to refuse dia­logue and appear unrea­son­able, as seemed to hap­pen on Oct. 3 in Hong Kong. The gov­ern­ment looks rea­son­able, and you look unrea­son­able and thuggish.”

4. Know who is with you on the local level. “One of the prob­lems of the Jan. 25 move­ment was that its lead­ers didn’t bother to find out which locals — peo­ple liv­ing in the same build­ing, or on the same street — sup­ported their cause.”

5. Do not allow inter­nal or exter­nal forces to sep­a­rate you from the peo­ple. “While you may be fight­ing for the rights of Hong Kong cit­i­zens, many of your fel­low cit­i­zens might not want to fight. The gov­ern­ment will use that to paint you as ‘dif­fer­ent,’ ‘foreign-funded,’ or ‘extrem­ist,’ to cre­ate a divide between you and the rest of the peo­ple.”

6. Do not count on your oppo­nent to think ratio­nally. “Sure, mas­sacring you in the streets may mean that they could lose face and tar­nish their rep­u­ta­tion, but Bei­jing will do what­ever it needs to main­tain power in Hong Kong”

7. Aban­don all hope. “Hope is fleet­ing and going into bat­tle with a height­ened sense of expec­ta­tion is a sure­fire path to defeat. Deter­mi­na­tion wins wars, not hope. And whether you like it or not, yours may end in a week, a month, even a decade.”

8. Aim for more, but know what to set­tle for. “Don’t be ashamed by set­tling; it’s bet­ter than los­ing everything.”

Salem’s points are all cogent. Much as arm­chair activists are charmed by the romance of rev­o­lu­tion in the streets, it rarely results in lib­er­a­tion. It works, as it did in Prague in 1989, when con­di­tions are exactly right and there are years of intel­li­gent prepa­ra­tion behind it. But most of the time it fails, or ush­ers in either new bru­tal mas­ters or re-invigorated old ones. Poorly orga­nized pro­test­ers who suc­ceed in over­throw­ing a regime will quickly find them­selves under the thumb of some total­i­tar­ian move­ment that is well orga­nized. Those who don’t suc­ceed will be quickly for­got­ten by a world that actu­ally doesn’t give a fuck about anybody’s free­dom — includ­ing their ownas long as the fuel keeps pour­ing into their cars and they can get cheap tube socks at Wal­mart. Those who imag­ined that “social media” would change the game were over-optimistic. It was a tem­po­rary advan­tage that repres­sive regimes soon met with effec­tive counter-strategies. No pro­test­ers could have been more ide­al­is­tic or sin­cere than the ones who met in Tianan­men Square in 1989. But min­utes after they were mas­sa­cred, their mur­der­ers were clink­ing cham­pagne glasses with emis­saries from George H. W. Bush. Now the bru­tal butch­ers are wel­come in every glam­our joint in the world, their bums are kissed and licked by every gov­ern­ment on the planet (most dis­gust­ingly, and with the most craven cow­ardice, by our Con­ser­v­a­tive Prime Min­is­ter in Canada), and they have suc­ceeded in effec­tively eras­ing the event from history.

It takes more than protests to win freedom.